Pain. That was all Loki was able to register and understand. He was in pain and so was the child he was giving birth too, stuck half in half out, and Loki took a deep breath and pushed and pushed and pushed, but the babe came out no farther. Sweat pooled off of Loki and dripped onto the cave’s floor as his strength began to wane. It is going to die, he thinks mournfully. It will die and it’s his fault. His body was not worthy of carrying such a creature and a sob ripped itself from Loki’s lungs. Loki, again, clenched with his stomach and pushed with everything he had. He shifted and his child wormed out another few centimeters.
“Please,” Loki cried out as he renewed his efforts. Each internal shove felt as if his insides were being torn, shredded as the child came further and further into the world. Loki screamed as the child finally ripped itself from his womb and slid onto the stone floor in a bloody mess.
Loki’s breaths came in short ragged pants and he leaned forward and carefully cut the life cord connecting him to his son. He reached down and lifted the wolf cub up into his arms. Blindly it nuzzled into his shirt, its small nose wiggling wildly, taking in the scent of his mother.
Loki shifted and reached for a wet rag he’d sat nearby and gently wiped off the residue that was left behind on his son. Once done, Loki looked down and smiled at his newborn. The pup had dark fur, nearly black, but Loki was sure it would be dark grey in the sunlight. He positioned his son securely on his chest and allowed it to suck on the nipple of a bottle he provided. Once he was sated, Loki cradled his son and stroked its head soothingly.
“My beautiful boy. My Fenrir.” As the words fell from his lips, Loki fell into a light slumber.
When he next awoke, it was due to the sound of crows.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Loki’s hand tightened on Fenrir and held his breath. Maybe he was hearing things. Maybe it was some other breed…
Movement fluttered at the entrance of his cave and a sharp caw broke his hope. Odin had found him. That knowledge made his lungs freeze and his stomach drop. It was foolish for him to think Odin would simply leave him alone after his banishment. He’d been reckless, left his shield down for too long, and now this son will be taken from him just as Sleipnir had been.
Despair caused his fingers to tingle with protective magic and hope filled his breast once again. Perhaps he’d been more rested than he thought. Maybe he could get away. Maybe he could keep his Fenrir! He was desperate to try and he pushed out with his free hand. His magic, dutifully, responded and the birds were swept back on a current of energy.
With the birds stunned and the cave’s entrance open, Loki sat up painfully and ran out as quickly and carefully as allowed with the now frightened child. Fenrir yipped and whimpered, shoving his face repeatedly into Loki’s arm. Guilt welled up in him but was easily masked by panic when he heard the caws of the birds following him. Nowhere was safe from Odin’s eyes, especially not on Midgard. Loki could have slapped himself in stupidity. Why had he chosen this planet; the planet with Odin’s crows and Thor and his stupid Avengers?
He had thought it was a good idea at the time. Hide where you’re least expected. Loki blames this foolish thinking on the Hulk. After all, if he hadn’t broken Stark’s floor with his face, he might have had more wits about him. It doesn’t matter now though. He couldn’t conquer enough magic to open a new portal and even if he could, Fenrir wouldn’t survive it.
Closing his eyes, Loki used up his remaining energy to create copies of himself with Fenrir against his chest. They weren’t very good; they would never trick Odin in real life, but the birds were confused and that was all Loki needed. He doubled back and headed back to the cave. It was quiet and safe. No doubt Odin didn’t think he’d be stupid enough to go back. Loki moved to the back of the cave and laid down, pulling Fenrir tight to his chest. His heart was racing and Loki feared the exertion would be the cause of his son’s death. Loki’s heart was also racing and he tried to calm down. He knew the All-Father’s crows had seen Fenrir and soon the All-Father would come but he did not come that night. Or the next night or the night after that and despite himself, Loki began to relax and enjoy the happiness his son gave him.
As the days past, his son grew quickly, feeding off the nourishments of the milk Loki created. For the first two weeks, Loki did nothing but feed Fenrir and hold him close. His eyes had not yet opened and his noises were still small and pitiful and Loki only left the cave to use the bathroom, running back every time he heard Fenrir’s worried barks. Slowly, the muscle and fat on Loki’s body vanished with lack of nourishment. His magic franticly tried to supply the necessary supplements but between keeping a protective shield around the cave and supplying Fenrir with the proper foods needed to grow, there wasn’t much his magic could do for Loki. He was practically a mortal but Loki didn’t care. His son was safe and that’s all he needed.
On week three, Fenrir opened his eyes for the first time. Loki smiled at his frightened curiosity and showed him the world of their cave and the small patch of forest beyond the cave. Fenrir’s long legs enabled him to run at much faster speeds than normal and Loki could see the joy in Fenrir’s bright blue eyes at the feel of the sun and wind in his soft downy fur. Loki closed his emerald eyes and turned his face skyward. He too enjoyed the warm rays of the sun. He had spend nearly four weeks in the dark and the sun dispelled all the bad memories that haunted his thoughts. Loki’s breathing slowed and he listened to the soft sounds of the forest. All was quiet and peaceful and despite his nature, Loki liked the change.
Suddenly, his eyes snapped open and he looked around. It was quiet. It shouldn’t have been quiet. He should be able to hear Fenrir’s excited trampling, curious sniffing, and the occasional huff of surprise.
Instead he hears the cawing of crows.